d'Eon

Music For Keyboards Vol. 2: “Whats My Age Again?” Variations [album stream]

I first heard Blink-182 in 6th grade. My initial exposure, to “All the Small Things,” must have made its way through my pores and found its way to something inside me primordial and fundamental, because I remember the song pervading my consciousness for months. In fact, I remember that whenever I was part of a class group or creative project and we had to make a presentation, my sole resource was to do a parody of “All the Small Things.” Maybe this owes more to Weird Al, who also played a dubious role model in those days. Either way, my fellow group members must have been weak-willed, or also of questionable taste, because I remember my grand plan winning out more often than was healthy or reasonable.

It matters not what generated my weird year of Blink-182 variations. What does matter is that, many years hence, d’Eon has embraced the passed torch with his own Blink re-imaginings. And thankfully the tracks here — vibing on “What’s My Age Again?” — are light-years better than a 12 year old’s “All the Small Things”/Julie of the Wolves mashup. Better, even, than the originals. Better than they have any right to be.

This mixtape, Music For Keyboards Vol. II, is out now from Hippos in Tanks (and premiered by Stereogum). d’Eon’s LP, LP, is also available from Hippos in Tanks.

• d’Eon: http://hipposintanks.net/artists/deon
• Hippos in Tanks: http://hipposintanks.net

Sick Whips

“Saudeleur”

Astro Nautico, the label responsible for putting out solid releases by howse, Time Wharp, Kuhn, Obey City, and Paul Jones, recently dropped Atlantics: Vol. 2, a beastly (and free) 41-track compilation of bass-heavy dance tracks, suffocated hip-hop, and ethereal bathdub constructions. Each morning this week, I’ll pick one of my favorite tracks, so you can start your day off astronautically.

Sick Whip’s “Saudeleur” is the penultimate track on Atlantics: Vol 2, and with good reason. It’s lulling ambience and tinkly aesthetic is the perfect way to wind down such a frenetic compilation of mutated dance tracks. Sick Whip’s SoundCloud claims that he/she/they/it is/are from Nan Madol, Micronesia, a ruined city located off the shore of Pohnpei island. This track makes me almost believe it.

• Sick Whips: http://soundcloud.com/sick-wips
• Astro Nautico: http://astronautico.com

Daniel Bachman

“White Oak”

If you boil it all down, it’s possible to accredit the United States as being the roots of most modern music, at least on a superficial level. This country popularized jazz music, which eventually led to rock ‘n’ roll, which may have led to everything we’ve ever heard since. This is a huge over-generalization, I know, but stick with me here. Although the origins of rock-oriented music may be in the states, we all know that some of the greatest achievements in the genre have come from places beyond our borders. So much so that there are very few styles that we still consider to sound “American.”

One sound that does recall images of the new world is the finger-pluckin’ steel string American raga, the kind of acoustic music that makes us all think of the old Takoma Records days. One modern master of this sound is Daniel Bachman (once known as Sacred Harp). His output lately has been plentiful, and his newest LP is yet another mesmerizing account of the grand American landscape. The album is called Oh Be Joyful, and it’s out on One Kind Favor. Check above for an inspiring video for the lead-off track “White Oak” which features Bachman strumming and plucking away like it ain’t no thang. His music has always sounded effortless, but the video makes it look even more so. With hints of drone from what I think is called a Shruti box, the record travels through scenes of frantic storms of guitar to simple sleepy folk songs.

• One Kind Favor: http://www.onekindfavor.net

Dope Body

“Weird Mirror”

Being from Baltimore, you get used to the same conversational points of reference. Crab cakes. The Ravens. The Wire. Occasionally, someone who’s done their reading will astutely mention that the indie gods of Animal Collective went to school in the area or that Tupac actually attended the Baltimore School of the Arts (alongside Jada Pinkett-Smith, just in case you were wondering). But Charm City probably isn’t going to come up in a conversation about killer up-and-coming punk bands. That is, until now.

Dope Body is the best noise rock outfit representing Baltimore right now, and possibly one of the best things to come out of the area since Dan Deacon’s trippy electronics. “Weird Mirror,” from their upcoming punk salvo Natural History (out May 22 on Drag City), is proof of that: you’ve got your ripping, chugging riffs; lyrics about cigarette hypocrites; and a feverish, Mission of Burma-esque feel throughout. It’s a tune metalheads and fist-pumping lacrosse bros (for whatever reason, two of Maryland’s largest musical constituencies) can come together and rock out to — and that’s how you know it’s great.

• Dope Body: http://dopebody.tumblr.com
• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com

aaronmaxwell

“sunsets”

Astro Nautico, the label responsible for putting out solid releases by howse, Time Wharp, Kuhn, Obey City, and Paul Jones, recently dropped Atlantics: Vol. 2, a beastly (and free) 41-track compilation of bass-heavy dance tracks, suffocated hip-hop, and ethereal bathdub constructions. Each morning this week, I’ll pick one of my favorite tracks, so you can start your day off astronautically.

In less than one minute, aaronmaxwell takes you absolutely nowhere with “sunsets.” Which is why I love this track. This cut is so laid back you feel like any momentum you might have — while dancing, walking, fucking, whatever — is canceled out by its dragging aesthetic. aaronmaxwell recently released a nine-track album called Dianetics. Stream it at his Bandcamp and/or download it here. Then come back here and listen to “sunsets” again.

• aaronmaxwell: http://islandofcool.bandcamp.com
• Astro Nautico: http://astronautico.com

  

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CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.